University of Vermont

The Vermont Child Welfare Training Partnership

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Staff Development Program

About the Program

The Child Welfare Training Program (CWTP) partners with representatives from all levels of the Family Services Division (FSD) to continuously grow and adapt the professional development program to meet the changing needs of FSD staff. We provide a comprehensive professional development program which:

  • Integrates divisional mission, practice model, policy, quality assurance and program improvement processes;
  • Meets departmental needs for regional training available through the year;
  • Provides opportunities for teams to be trained with their supervisors in best and emerging practices, so that supervisors can support workers to implement skills and knowledge in their practice;
  • Utilizes various delivery methods, including videos, interactive internet-based, webinars, fromal metntoring relationships and workshops;
  • Focuses on building specific skills for engaging, assessing, planning, implementing, monitoring and closure with children, youth and families;
  • Builds system capacity through organizational consulting, mentoring, team building and leadership development;
  • Progresses from basic orientation through core skills/knowledge to advanced practice in child welfare and youth justice.

All professsional development activities are guided by the FSD practice model and core practice principles detailed at http://dcf/vermont/gov/fsd

Foundations for Family Centered Practice

New employees spend three weeks (separted by 3 weeks in the field) in Foundations training within six months of hire. Since many of these training days feature new best practice skills and principles, expereinced employees and supervisors are encouraged to attend those highlighted in the training calendar for this purpose. The Foundations course uses case scenarios to provide concrete policy review and skills practice in the following areas:

Week One:

  • Solution focused skills
  • Investigation and assessment skills
  • Risk and protective factors
  • Safety and risk assessment
  • Child development and attachment
  • Family time coaching
  • Shared parenting
  • Domestic violence
  • Adolescent development
  • Family safety planning

Week Two

  • Working with Courts
  • Case planning with families
  • Family group conferencing
  • Concurrent planning
  • Sexual abuse: Victims and offenders
  • Permanency planning
  • Reunification, guardianship and adoption
  • Ethics
  • Self care
  • Making the most of supervision
  • Case closure

Ongoing Professional Development varies from year to year based on assessed needs of FSD staff. Topics offered recently include the following:

  • Perspectives in Family Centered Practice: One week training covereing advanced topics in family centered practice, such as working with kin, planning for safety when domestic violence is present, trauma and attachment, sexual abuse and substance abuse.
  • Supervising youth with sexually aggressive behhaviors in the community.
  • Forensic interviewing.
  • Motivational interviewing.
  • Teaming symposium.
  • Youth Justice Conference.
  • Working with Youth Conference.
  • VT Foster and Adoptive Family Association Conference.
  • Reflective practice groups for supervisors (regional)

Regional Training

The Child Welfare Training Partnership (CWTP) increasingly provides targeted, skills-based training and consultation for teams in districts. The model has proven both popular and effective in enhancing the professional development of FSD staff, supporting efforts at systems change, and spreading knowledge and practice skills based on evidence. Each district works with central office staff, CWTP staff and others they may identify to develop a district specific professional development plan.

Each district has an assigned CWTP training coordinator, who works with staff in the district regularly. Topics covered depend upon the needs of the distrcit staff, but may include:

  • Management consultation; team development; strategic planning
  • Family Safety Planning and Family Group Conferencing program development and case consultation
  • Safety mapping
  • Risk and safety assessment
  • Enhancing Parent-Child Family Time
  • Teaming training and consultation
  • Time management

Delivery of training and consultation services is mutally agreed upon by CWTP, the FSD Operations manager, and each district. Community partners and other DCF department staff are invited and welcome at the discretion of the district.

Training for IV-E System of Care Service Providers

Most of the above trainings are also available to foster parents, adoptive parents, workers in residential programs, case managers, state employees in other departments, and other community practitioners providing services to children in custody.

Specific traning information and registration information can be found at:

A list of personnel with their contact information can be found here







Last modified September 19 2014 11:48 AM

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